The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has released their annual report on Internet usage in China. Fifty-one million people went online for the first time in China in 2012, bringing the total number to 564 million. The number of people using weibo, or microblogs, has increased to 309 million. From ZDNet:
The increase in users, which is larger than the population of Spain, has been laid at the feet of mobile technology. The mobile tech boom, which includes the increased use of tablets and smartphones, has made connecting to online networks easier for Chinese citizens. As a result, the report says that those who go online via tablets, smartphones and wireless networks increased by 18.1 percent, bringing the wireless mobile population to 420 million.
First reported by Techweb, the report also states that while Internet cafes have begun to slide in popularity, desktop computer use also fell by nearly three percentage points in 2012, and laptop use dropped to 45.9 percent of users. Mobile technology use has leapt from 69.3 percent to 74.5 percent.
Microblogging increased six percentage points, growing to a population of 309 million Chinese Internet users. Online shopper rates ramped up to 242 million people. Using mobile technology to buy items online has increased by 6.6 percentage points compared to 2011.
The full CNNIC report can be downloaded here (zh).